Thanksgiving Week at Canterbury Park Race Book

Tampa Bay Downs begins its 94th season of racing this Wednesday with an 11:25 a.m. first post.  Long-time local race fans will notice a familiar face offering selections in the competitive fields as Matt Carothers will handle those duties for the 90-day season. Carothers was Canterbury’s racing analyst in the early Park years before leaving for Monmouth and eventually TVG. Richard Grunder handles lead vocals as always.

To celebrate the start of the popular race meet, Canterbury Park Race Book will offer a 5 percent rebate on all Tampa Bay Downs wagers made Wednesday using an MVP Rewards card. The rebate will be awarded in the form of MVP Rewards points.

The Fair Grounds in New Orleans returns to the tradition of opening on Thanksgiving Day and Canterbury has all the action covered. Fair Grounds’ nine-race card begins at noon and features the Thanksgiving Classic Stakes.  Holiday racing Thursday also includes Churchill Downs,  Aqueduct and Golden Gate Fields. Here is the simulcast calendar for the remainder of the month.

The popular Black Friday Giveaway returns in both the Card Casino and the Race Book with 140 prize winners building wide.  Drawings for multiple winners will be held every half hour in each location from noon to 5:30 p.m. with an Unclaimed Prize Drawing at 6 p.m.

Check these links for participation details in both the Card Casino and Race Book and how you keep your MVP Rewards card active throughout the promotion.

Handicapping contests this week include the Thursday through Saturday Horse Player World Series Super Satellite and the return of In The Money Contest both Friday and Saturday.

Little Chicago Chophouse Opens May 16 at Canterbury Park

Upscale dining has come to Canterbury Park, as it introduces Little Chicago Chophouse, opening Thursday, May 16 at the popular suburban Minneapolis entertainment destination. Modeled after an East Coast steakhouse, the menu offers full cuts of Black Angus beef, fresh seafood, and pastas prepared with locally sourced ingredients. An extensive wine list and unique craft cocktail program accentuate the traditional menu offerings of the dining room. Chef Seth Teiken, a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America and former executive chef at Pazzaluna Urban Italian Restaurant in St. Paul, will guide Little Chicago Chophouse, serving dinner Wednesday through Sunday as well as family-style brunch on Saturdays and Sundays.

Tucked in a cozy yet open room just off the casino gaming floor, the 60-seat Little Chicago takes on the flare of a speakeasy as mixologists prepare cocktails tableside.

The cocktail menu features many classics including Martinis, Manhattans, the Old Fashioned, and Negroni . “We mix all classic recipes and some twists on those classics,” Shanti Jensen, Senior Manager of Restaurants, said.  Many very accessible wines are available plus an extensive offering of reserve wines by the bottle. “Wine is an extremely important component of the Little Chicago dining experience. Our professional servers are prepared to suggest the perfect pairing to our guests,” Jensen said.

The name Little Chicago invokes Shakopee’s past when, from the 1920s, throughout Prohibition, and well after into the ’40s, Twin Citians would venture south of the river for a smaller and much more conveniently located version of the Windy City where authorities were paid to look the other way. In Shakopee they found what they could not elsewhere:  illegal gambling and forbidden liquor, often accompanied by a thick steak.

“Little Chicago Chophouse incorporates the history of Shakopee into the present where you can get a cold drink while enjoying  a steak in a city that is still known for gambling,” Jensen said.

Gambling at Canterbury Park takes place in its 24/7 card casino, year-round racebook, and at the seasonal live horse race meet. Canterbury Park also hosts myriad special events. Recently introduced was Canterbury Commons, a multi-use redevelopment expected to attract more than $400 million in private investment. The initial phase of the project, the upscale Triple Crown Apartments with more than 300 units, will begin leasing in the coming months.

“Little Chicago Chophouse is like nothing else in this area. Business is booming and people are moving in. There are millions of visitors annually to Shakopee. Our new restaurant will be a very welcome addition to a flourishing city,” Jensen said.

Reservations are recommended and can be made through

Mutuel Madness

By Noah Joseph

Everyone has something they enjoy when visiting Canterbury Park. For some, it’s just watching the races, while for others, it’s the chance to win some money. Horse racing is one of a few sports in which wagers can be placed legally. In fact, without wagering, horse racing wouldn’t exist. While some bets produce small payouts, some pay huge amounts.

The most commonly placed wager is a $2 bet, the minimum bet for win, place, and show wagers. The highest $2 win payout in track history occurred not that long ago. In 2015, Congregation, under jockey Jenna Joubert, payed $161 to win. The highest $2 place payoff is actually higher than the win payoff. Bask in the Wind payed $192.60 to place in 1990. The highest show payoff was set by Turtle Mountain, who payed $122.00 to show in 2009.

Exotic wagers, which are bets that have the option to use one or more horses in multiple race legs, or combinations, have a tendency to pay more.

  • The highest exacta payoff occurred when Elroho and Colonel Jerry paid $3,308.60 in 1987.
  • The highest trifecta took place when Clever Endeavor, Gottcha Silver, and Heartofdemi paid $70,086.20 in 2013.
  • The highest superfecta happened in 2014 when Brooktown, Oneta Sugar, Seafarer, Zeta Zody paid $145,338.00 (for a $2 payout).
  • The highest daily double paid $3,156.00 between Pendrug and Balistico in 1988.
  • That same year, the highest pick three occurred between Talc’s Girl, Lonely Beach, and Fourstardave, in which the pick three paid $51,030.00.
  • The largest pick four payout occurred in 2013 with Clever Endeavor, Gianna’s Music Man, Thatlleaveamark, and Sam Wayne winning. It paid $82,051.40 for a $2 bet.
  • The highest pick 5 paid $41,807.40 in 2016
  • And the biggest pick five jackpot, which unlike the regular pick five requires the bettor to pick five consecutive winners and have the only winning ticket, happened last year, and it paid $312,130 for a 50 cent bet.
  • The highest payout this season was a pick five jackpot that paid $60,805.15 on June 10. With just a bit more than half the season to go, look for the tote board to light up with some more big payouts…. and you just might be the big winner.